Ashley, Bashley and a lonesome cow
April 29. 2020
A couple of days ago, before the rains came, we set out for a "circular choose the route" as we went along walk through the urban parts of New Milton and Ashley and out into the countryside, on paths we have never trod before.
Heading from Inglewood Drive, we crossed the Ashley Road into Oak Road, and paused to lean over the narrow bridge to see how much water was in the possibly named Litchford stream (not quite sure) which leads to the Ballard Lake (as mentioned in a previous post) - it was fairly high level even after such little rain. The houses on the left side all have small bridges, which is a great entrance into their property - - a bit like a moat and a drawbridge would be fab!
We pass underneath the London to Bournemouth railway track and, heading slightly uphill, take a quiet avenue full of 1930s bungalows, typical of the New Milton area, but most have been renovated and extended and are really pleasing to the eye - which one would we live in, we muse!
Coming out onto Brockhills Lane, we now leave behind the urban landscape for the rural countryside of the New Forest and make our way on to the Sway Road. Although slightly busier, we bravely walk alongside the field edges and spy a footpath sign across the road at the Danestream Farm Shop.
Taking this path up the side a of small industrial estate, we feel really off the beaten track, with fields and forestry surrounding us. There's a rickety bridge to cross as we now go uphill out of the valley and find ourselves on a rhododendron lined route with the flowers just starting to bloom.
This path brought us out to St John's Road in Bashley, not much more than a track, with some lovely detached properties ranging from Victorian to almost modern day homes - wow - such a great place to live. Just out of town, but a world away.
The cow in the field looks happy enough, but stands a large distance away from the other two in the field - therefore, looking lonesome but probably just happy to be alone.
We'd heard of St John the Baptist church but never ventured down this road to have a look. Unfortunately, due to the current circumstances, we were unable to enter the building, but, built in 1910, it appears to have unchanged much from then and looks a welcoming place to worship.
Our walk then brought us to the Bashley Common Road - and there were the village stores opposite - time for that ice cream break that we sorely needed.
It's a fairly straightforward walk back towards Bashley Cross roundabout and the cottage from here, but its an interesting walk full of trees overhanging the road and allows for a detour around Ballard Lake before entering the town.